Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Combining work and okaasan...

A hard day.

Monday is busy day for me, and as this was almost the last teaching day of the year I had various class parties with students and end-of-year quizes to organise etc.

I went in to check on okaasan at 8.15 am and got some of the trash from her kitchen to put out with ours. Standing next to her while she fumbled with the trash box and plastic bags was a bit frustrating, but I managed to curb my desire to help so that she could fiddle around and work out how to do it.

Her room is beginning to overflow with stuff. We must get her one more box or small cabinet to put papers in, and I must try to get her to put away some clothes, everything is draped over surfaces now. She's only been there 2 weeks and the surfaces are disappearing!

Then I went off to my day of teaching: two classes in the morning, another in the afternoon, a 90 minute drive, back late afternoon to inject the cat and prepare dinner. There was left over chicken from one of the class parties, so I planned rice/soup/vegetables and chicken.
Okaasan said she'd been up the road to a local curry restaurant at lunchtime, and when I suggested dinner at 5.30 before my evening classes she looked unhappy and chose 8.45 pm instead.
So I prepared as much as I could, set the table and flew out at 6 pm to the evening classes.

Got home at 8.50 pm and brought okaasan into our living rom while I threw dinner together. It wasn't so great, but ok I guess.
I asked her if she would show me how to cook one traditional Japanese New Year dish - and that got us into lots of memories about New Year celebrations in the past - endlessly the same stories. Sometimes her conversation is really bad - literally the same phrases repeated on about a 3 or 4 minute cycle! Good for my Japanese practice, not good for her brain.
There was a program on TV about an injured elephant, so we watched that together and had the strange cycle conversations about zoos and wars and animals. But it was relaxing social time for her ...I hope!
I was knackered. Finally at 11 pm I took her back to her room and made sure the hot carpets were on and the windows were closed.
Tomorrow I must try to get some of her stuff AWAY. And maybe we'll try bathtime. And I'll cook a better lunch for her. I bought the fish and I'm ready to get it right this time!

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